NCAA Baseball: Blacksburg Regional Preview

The Sooners join host Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina and Connecticut in the Blacksburg Regional.

2013 NCAA Blacksburg Baseball Regional

Friday, May 31
(All Times Central)

Game 1 | 12 p.m. | Oklahoma vs. Coastal Carolina
Game 2 | 4:30 p.m. | Connecticut vs. Virginia Tech

Saturday, June 1

Game 3 | 12 p.m. | Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Game 4 | 4:30 p.m. | Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner

Sunday, June 2

Game 5 | 12 p.m. | Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser
Game 6 | 4:30 p.m. | Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner

Monday, June 3
(If necessary)

Game 7 | 6 p.m. | Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner

Online

ESPN3.com | NCAA Baseball Central

Location

Blacksburg, Va. | English Field | Information

Radio

Sooner Sports Network | Sirius 111 | XM 202

Live Stats

SoonerSports.com GameTracker

After limping to the end of the regular season, the Oklahoma Sooners (40-19, 13-11 Big 12) found their second wind in the conference tournament. Winning four games in four days put OU as the Big 12 tournament champions for the first time under coach Sunny Golloway. Now Oklahoma looks to carry that momentum into Blacksburg in hopes of bringing home the regional championship as well.

First baseman Matt Oberste leads Oklahoma's offense with a .384 batting average along with 58 RBI and 11 home runs. The only other Sooner batting .300 or better is Max White who has 28 RBI and three home runs. Jack Mayfield has been solid all season but found his stride late in the season, ending with a .250 batting average and seven home runs.

For most of the season Oklahoma's advantage has come from the pitcher's mound where future first rounder Jonathan Gray has been absolutely dominant. His 1.55 ERA speaks for itself but the powerful right hander has 127 strikeouts to his credit this season as well. Dillon Overton has been the second ace for the Sooners despite an arm injury that caused him some time on the shelf late in the year. His ERA is at 2.89 and his 74 Ks are second only to Gray. The two have combined for an 18-4 record on the year.

Where Oklahoma is going to win, or lose, this regional is in the guys behind the two aces. Jake Fisher has been impressive as of late, as well as Ralph Garza Jr. and Jacob Evans. It will most likely require the entire bullpen for OU to make it out of Blacksburg.

Virginia Tech (38-20, 15-14 ACC) drew the regional after advancing to the championship game of the ACC tournament where they fell to North Carolina by a score of 4-1. The Hokies are 17-9 on their home field this season and are led from the plate by Tyler Horan who is batting .349 for the year with 11 home runs and 50 RBI. Horan is just one of five Virginia Tech players batting .300 or better. Andrew Rash (.312) leads the Hokies with 57 RBI.

From the mound Virginia Tech has a team ERA of 4.31 on the year. Joe Mantiply is a perfect 6-0 on the season with a 2.92 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Brad Markey leads the team in fanned batters with 74 and has a 4-4 record, along with a 5.12 ERA.

Coastal Carolina (37-21, 18-6 Big South) will be Oklahoma's opening opponent today. The The Chanticleers come into the tournament as an at large bid after falling to Liberty in the conference tournament. Like the Sooners, they have just two players batting above .300, led by Jacob May's .321 this season. May also has 29 RBI and six home runs. Ted Blackman is batting .303 with 24 RBI and five homers.

From the mound Coastal Carolina has a team ERA of 3.16 this season. Ben Smith (2.19, 5-3), Tyler Poole (3.86, 6-2) and Tyler Herb (4.04, 6-1) are the big arms but the bullpen is also chalked full of guys who can provide solid relief. Connecticut (34-26, 9-15 Big East) comes into the regional riding a bit of a hot streak as well. The Huskies polished off Notre Dame in the championship game of the Big East tournament to earn an automatic bid. They'll draw the host team, Virginia Tech, this afternoon and will no doubt need every bit of LJ Mazzilli's .364 batting average to pull the upset. Mazzilli has hit a team high six home runs this season and also leads UCONN with 49 RBI.

Carson Cross (2.50, 8-4), Brian Ward (3.59, 2-3) and Anthony Marzi (3.87, 5-6) will try to anchor the Huskies from the mound.

We'll have live updates and game threads for the Blacksburg Regional all weekend long here at Crimson And Cream Machine.

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